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Ukrainian Commercial Court Notes Kiev-Pechersk Lavra's Monks' Claim, Lawyer Says

© Sputnik / StringerA general view shows the Kiev Pechersk Lavra monastery in Kiev, Ukraine.
A general view shows the Kiev Pechersk Lavra monastery in Kiev, Ukraine. - Sputnik International, 1920, 30.03.2023
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Kiev Commercial Court noted the claim filed by the Orthodox Christian monks of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, a historic monastery in the Ukrainain capital, Protopriest Nikita Tchekman, the clerics' legal adviser, said, adding the first session will take place on April 26.
"The preliminary hearing will take place on April 26, at 11 a.m., in Kiev Commercial Court. We are praying for the restoration of violated rights of our church members and for a just ruling," he said, as quoted by the Educational Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC).
Kiev Monastery of the Caves - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.03.2023
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The monks also pleaded for a formal ban on any actions by the National Kiev-Pechersk Historical and Cultural Preserve, in which the monastery is located, that would disrupt the everyday life of the religious community.
The conflict around Kiev-Pechersk Lavra escalated after the Ukrainian Ministry of Culture terminated the lease agreement unilaterally, accusing the monks of violating the terms of the deal, and ordered them to leave the Lavra by March 29. Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said the monks could stay if they joined the Orthodox Church of Ukraine (OCU). However, Metropolitan Bishop Pavel (Lebed), viceregent of the Lavra, said that no compromise was possible.
A general view shows the Uspensky Cathedral of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra monastery in Kiev, Ukraine, November 16, 2018. - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.03.2023
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The Russian Orthodox Church says the UOC is a "self-governing church with the rights of broad autonomy" within the Moscow Patriarchate. However, in the wake of the military operation that Russia launched in Ukraine more than a year ago, the UOC said it was independent from the Moscow Patriarchate and did not support the special op. In January, the Ukrainian government submitted a bill to parliament that seeks to ban the UOC in Ukraine if its connection with Russia is proven.
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